The Truth Is Not Out There

We recently discussed the remarkable view of Rav Yosef Refael Hazan denying the possibility of freeing a שפחה conditionally depending upon a ספיקא דדינא, rooted in his profound understanding of the essential nature of halachah. Turning from the abstract theology to the practical holding, it seems that he is summarily foreclosing the possibility of ever […]

A Man’s Word Is His Bond

We have previously discussed the derivation of Halachic and ethical principles from the moral sensibilities of non-Jews and their culture, and particularly the question of whether non-Jewish reprehension of conduct that we consider acceptable means that we must abstain from it to avoid engendering a חילול השם. I recently encountered several additional sources on this […]

Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Halachah

For my father, who has long been fascinated by the application of the ideas of Kurt Gödel to the Torah. Well, and wherefore shall it daunt me, when ’tis I myself am tasked, When, by weakness weakness questioned, weakly answers—weakly asked? Weakness never needs be falseness: truth is truth in each degree —Thunderpealed by God […]